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Fuel Mileage and your Honda – Things You Should Know

Set Correct Tire Pressures – Use an accurate tire gauge to set the tire pressures to the recommended values listed on the driver’s doorjamb sticker. These values are the recommended cold inflation pressures that are the best compromise for ride quality, steering feel, handling, and fuel economy. When replacing tires, always go with OEM tires, they’re optimized for low rolling resistance.

Use the Correct Engine Oil – A higher viscosity engine oil increases internal engine drag, and that reduces fuel mileage. Always use the recommended engine oil for your vehicle.

Accelerate Moderately and Smoothly – Avoid pressing the accelerator pedal excessively. Hard acceleration burns a lot of fuel. Very slow acceleration keeps the transmission in its lower gears too long, which also increases fuel consumption. Moderate, smooth acceleration gives the best fuel economy. If the vehicle has an M/T, you can boost your fuel economy by upshifting as early as possible.

Avoid Stop-and-Go Driving – Anticipate traffic signals to keep the vehicle’s momentum going. Avoid unnecessary stops and starts. Don’t tailgate; hugging the bumper in front of you forces you to make the same stops and starts as the vehicle that bumper’s bolted to. Use the cruise control as much as possible to keep your speed consistent.

Minimize Braking – Every time you brake while driving, you have to accelerate again, and that uses fuel. When decelerating, take your foot off of the accelerator pedal or use light braking. In hybrid vehicles, decelerating or light braking charges up the IMA battery so the kinetic energy can be used again when accelerating.

Use the ECON Button (Insight and Civic

Hybrid models only) – Make use of the ECON button. When you’re in ECON mode, and with the A/C running, the Auto Idle Stop feature is active.

Use A/C Sparingly – The engine works harder when the A/C is running, and that reduces your fuel mileage. Turn on the A/C only when you really need it. If the vehicle has climate control, select the warmest temperature that’s still comfortable.

Reduce Speed – Aerodynamic drag has a big effect on fuel mileage at speeds above 45 mph. Reduce your speed and you reduce the drag. Trailers, cartop carriers, roof racks, and bike racks are also big contributors to increased drag.

Reduce Vehicle Weight – Unnecessary items in the vehicle add weight. That makes the engine work harder and use more fuel. Remove the stuff you don’t need from the passenger compartment, trunk, or cargo area.

Use a Block Heater in Cold Weather – As the air temperature drops, more fuel is wasted heating up the engine to its normal operating temperature after a cold start, and the engine oil is thicker, increasing internal engine drag. Also, at temperatures below 40° to 50°F, fuel doesn’t vaporize properly, so more of it must be used for the engine to run properly during warm-up. A block heater helps keep both the engine and the engine oil warm and reduces the extra fuel needed at colder temperatures.

Avoid Short Trips If Possible – The engine uses a lot of fuel to warm up to its normal operating temperature (about 180°F), and it has to deal with higher internal friction before it does. The shorter the trip, the more fuel that’s wasted warming up the engine and is lost to higher internal engine friction. For short trips, try walking or bicycling if you can. If you need to drive, keep in mind your fuel economy will drop quite a bit. This is especially true if you’re making those short trips on a cold day or if you’re making them on a hot day and you’re running the A/C to quickly cool down the vehicle. Such conditions can easily reduce your fuel economy by more than 25 percent.